Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice is the 6th and final installment in the Vampire Academy series of books (although there is to be a ‘spin off’ series based on some of the other characters).

I’ve really enjoyed this series of books – although I don’t particularly recommend that they be read on their own – I think that the whole series needs to be read to give a proper understanding of the lifestyle, history and characters involved.  I think RM has down a wonderful job of creating this whole other vampire world that sits secretly alongside our own, a world with a fully developed background, superstitions and myths.

I also enjoyed watching the change in Rose throughout the series.  Rose is a great character.  She’s tough and can stand up for herself but she’s also devoted to her friends and not afraid to get into any number of situations to help others.  She’s not perfect of course and makes a lot of mistakes, some which she deeply regrets, but with the benefit of hindsight I guess it would be a perfect world (or a boring book with very little story involved!).

Anyway, this book starts with Rose in prison, accused of the murder of the Queen (for which the punishment is the death penalty).  Dimitri is also being kept under lock and key as not everyone is convinced that he truly is a dhampir again or think he may be a Strigoi spy.  Rose’s friends, assisted by Dimitri break Rose out of Jail and she becomes a fugitive assisted by Sydney (the plan being to keep her safely in hiding).  Meanwhile, Lissa remains at court and tries to uncover who the real killer is.  Of course Rose has no such intentions of playing a sleepy role and embarks on her own search for Lissa’s secret sibling.  And so two stories begin to unfold.

I did enjoy this book although not as much as I hoped.  Whilst I think that RM has tried to give everyone a happy ending this is never going to be easy – and particularly where a love triangle has been written into the plot.  As far as I’m concerned I never had any doubt about who Rose would (or should) end up with but obviously in this case there’s always somebody who is going to be unhappy.  That being said there were a few surprises along the route and I never guessed the actual murderer or the final outcome between Rose and Lissa.  I guess what I found a little disappointing was the interaction between Dimitri and Rose which wasn’t as gripping as in the previous books and the ending felt a little bit rushed (even though this isn’t a small book).  In the last book Dimitri was absolutely adamant that he didn’t want to be near Rose or to speak to her and she was understandably heartbroken and yet here he is at the start of book no.6 helping her to escape from prison and joining her on her road trip/hideout/adventure.  Also, it seemed rather obvious that Dimitri’s feelings for Rose had changed and yet I didn’t really have any real understanding or sense of why that was  – or more to the point how quickly he’d had a turn around.  I think that I might have enjoyed a little less time spent in Lissa’s ‘head’ and a bit more time sorting out some queries between Rose and Dimitri.  Although I thought the Lissa element was enjoyable in this book and at last give Lissa a chance to do something for Rose.

This probably sounds more critical than I intended.  I think this has been a really excellent series, I think Rose is a great character and I would definitely recommend reading them.

Rating -A

Vampire Academy: Last Sacrifice

Vampire Academy: Last Sacrifice

Hunger (Gone) by Michael Grant

Posted On 14 December 2010

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This is the second book in the series picking up the story of Gone 3 months on.  Gone is based on the children who live at Perdido Beach.  Mysteriously all the adults, in fact anyone of the age 15 or above has disappeared and at the same time some of the remaining children are developing strange powers.  The first book introduced us to Sam who, due to his level-headedness has become the Leader of the remaining children – well at least the children who are not living at the Academy.  The children at the Academy are led by Caine who already understands his own special powers and wants to make the most of them to take control.  And this gives an incredibly basic summary of the first novel.

Hunger, as it’s name implies, takes us three months down the line when all the food is starting to run out and the children are beginning to starve.  Sam has unwittingly become the surrogate father to over 300 children (some very young) and is trying to keep things afloat whilst having to arbitrate over ‘silly’ everyday arguments such as which dvd is going to be watched that evening.  Basically Sam has so many everyday duties to perform and constant worries to try and overcome that he has very little time to focus on the real problems that are swiftly heading his way.   This story sees the further development of the characters and the addition of some new mutant powers.  It also sees the breakdown of relationships between the children as the real hunger takes hold with the ‘normal’ children starting to feel resentful of the ones with powers who seem to run the show.

This book is an interesting concept – it reminds me of a cross between Lord of the Flies and the X-Men and demonstrates the way that circumstances can vastly alter a person’s nature, that bad can become good and that heros are sometimes least where you expect to find them.  I like the way that MG writes, he makes you care about his characters and he packs in a lot of drama and action. I would think though that this book may not be suitable for a younger audience as MG certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the fighting and conflict scenes.

The only criticism I would really have is that this is a long book – and I don’t particularly have a problem with long books – but in parts the story does seem to drag a little – and strangely enough not because of a lack of action because there seems to be always plenty going on.  I think perhaps some of it could have been edited so that you cut to the chase a bit quicker.  It almost feels sometimes that there is so much going on that you become almost bored with it – I know that sounds crazy but perhaps there should have been the odd chapter where things were less hectic.  That said the ending is very gripping and I practically raced through it.

I’m looking forward to reading Lies which is already sat in wait however I’ll probably read a few other books first.  So many books…

Rating B+

Hunger (Gone)

Hunger (Gone)

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